The Democratic and Republican parties have warned that it could take weeks to decide the Nov. 2 election and have hired rival armies of attorneys and observers for the battle. \nWith US President George W. Bush and Democratic Senator John Kerry running neck-and-neck in opinion polls, both camps fear a repeat of the 2000 election debacle in Florida. \nKerry said on Sunday that he had put together a legal "dream team" to protect voter rights. \n"If it is a close election in any one state, it may be days or weeks before we know who the actual winner is," warned Tom Josefiak, general counsel for President Bush's campaign. \nIn Florida four years ago, a controversy erupted over punch-card ballots that often failed to clearly show which candidate's name was punched out. The confusion left the US without a clear election winner for 36 days until the Supreme Court, in a controversial 5 to 4 decision, halted a recount of Florida ballots. \nBush beat vice president Al Gore by 537 votes and the Florida result secured the presidency. \nThere are growing fears that the winner between Bush and Kerry will also not be announced on election night. \nProject Vote, a non-partisan organization, predicts a litany of lawsuits, notably regarding "provisional" ballots that allow people who are not sure whether they are registered to cast a vote, leaving authorities with the task of deciding whether the vote should be counted. \nLegal challenges could be filed against the accuracy of electronic voting machines that do not provide papers that could be used for a possible recount. \nThe Republican and Democratic parties will deploy tens of thousands of observers to monitor the election across the country and discourage attempts by both camps to intimidate voters. \nOn Sunday, Kerry said at an African American Baptist church in Ohio that he had put together a "voter protection dream team" of top lawyers to forestall vote fraud and disenfranchisement. \n"Let me just make clear to you, we are not going to let this be a repeat of 2000, we are not going to see a million African Americans deprived of their votes in America," he said. \nLawsuits contesting ballots, voter registration and voting machines have already been filed. \nElliot Mincberg, legal director of People for the American Way Foundation, said the early law-suits may help avoid post-poll challenges.
PRIORITY GROUPS: A line of people were waiting at the Good Liver Clinic, apparently to get shots, while the CECC announced more priority groups for jabs The Taipei-based Good Liver Clinic is to be fined NT$2 million (US$72,028) after giving free COVID-19 vaccine shots to people not in groups eligible to receive them, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said yesterday. The Zhongshan District (中山)-based clinic was removed from the city’s list of vaccination venues and health officials would be investigated for giving 1,113 doses to the clinic, Huang told an afternoon news conference at Taipei City Hall. The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on Tuesday in an exclusive story citing an anonymous tip reported that a Taipei clinic was doling out unused vaccines. People in
‘GOOD SIGN’: Thanks to public efforts, the number of COVID-19 cases is on a downward trend, the minister of health said, but told people not to let their guard down The COVID-19 situation appears to be relatively stable and on a downward trend, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, as he reported 185 domestic COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths. “This seems to be a relatively good sign,” Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a daily news briefing. In Taipei and New Taipei City, the overall situation seems to be heading in a good direction, he added. He attributed it to public efforts to control the spread of the virus, but warned people against letting their guard down. Of the new local cases, 83 are males and
PHASE 2: The firm’s CEO said that the results were good and the experimental vaccine safe, but added that hoped-for phase 3 trials would be expensive Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗) yesterday reported positive results from an interim analysis of phase 2 trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, saying that the vaccine demonstrated high seroconversion rates and geometric mean titer (GMT) figures. A seroconversion rate is the percentage of participants in a trial displaying virus-specific immune memory after being given a vaccine, while the GMT measures the level of neutralizing antibody response, Medigen said. The experimental vaccine has a seroconversion rate of 99.8 percent and its GMT was 662 among the participants aged 20 to 89, while the gauges rose to 99.9 percent and 733 respectively in participants aged
ROLLING OUT DOSES: The expansion aims to speed up Taiwan’s vaccination drive by making more Moderna jabs available to workers at hospitals, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to all healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers in the highest vaccine priority group. The center said that 75,000 doses of the vaccine — half of the first batch Taiwan has received — were on Wednesday distributed to hospitals across the nation with specialized COVID-19 rooms, negative pressure wards and testing services. Thus far, they had only been offered to frontline healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers at the designated hospitals, it said. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the eligibility was